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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 3



(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak interprets 'Kinuy' according to those who permit it even Lechatchilah, like the Pasuk in Yo'el "va'Yekane Hashem le'Artzo" - which means "And Hashem *warned* His people."

(b) The Navi is referring - to the impending plague of locusts.

(c) Based on the Pasuk "va'Yetzav Moshe *va'Ya'aviru* Kol ba'Machaneh Leimor", Rebbi Meir interprets "*ve'Avar* Alav Ru'ach Kin'ah" (referring to Hashem) to mean that Hashem will announce (publicise) her sin, which she took great pains to perform in secret.

(d) And Resh Lakish extrapolates from the Pasuk "Ish Ish ki *Sisteh* Ishto" - that a person does not (wittingly) sin until a spirit of 'Sh'tus' (idiocy) has entered into him (or her).

(a) Rebbi Yishmael substantiates what we learned earlier, that one witness is believed by a Sotah, due to the strong evidence that they sinned. Rav Papa asked Abaye that the brunt of that evidence lies in the fact that the Kinuy preceded the S'tirah and the Tum'ah, when in fact, Kinuy is written *after* S'tirah and Tum'ah ("ve'Nisterah ve'Hi Nitma'ah. ve'Avar Alav Ru'ach Kin'ah"). To which Abaye replied - that "ve'Avar ... " is the pluperfect ("And there had previously passed over him a spirit of jealousy", before the S'tirah and the Tum'ah).

(b) We cannot translate the Pasuk in Matos (in connection with the B'nei Gad and the B'nei Reuven) "ve'Avar Lachem Kol Chalutz" in the pluperfect. In fact, it cannot refer to the past - because the Torah also writes there "ve'Nichbeshah ha'Aretz Lifneichem *ve'Achar Tashuvu*."

(c) "ve'Avar Alav Ru'ach Kin'ah ... " can only refer to before the S'tirah and the Tum'ah and not to afterwards (like the way it is written) - because it is futile to warn after the person has already sinned.

(a) Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael learns from the Pasuk "ve'Avar Alav Ru'ach Kin'ah ... " that a man does not warn his wife until there passes over him a spirit, which the Rabbanan interpret as a spirit of Tum'ah, and Rav Ashi - as one of Taharah (because he detests lewdness).

(b) We prove Rav Ashi right from a Beraisa, where Rebbi Akiva obligates a man to warn his wife should he suspect her of adultery. According to Rebbi Yishmael - the warning is voluntary.

(c) This proves Rav Ashi right - because, according to the Rabbanan, warning one's wife is not even voluntary, and certainly not obligatory (though this proof seems strange, bearing in mind that we already inferred from our Mishnah, that our Tana forbids warning Lechatchilah, in which case the Rabbanan could hold like him).

(d) Rebbi Yishmael also says 'Reshus' with regard to the Pasuk in Emor (in connection with a Kohen becoming Tamei for his deceased relations) "Lah Yitama", and the Pasuk in Behar "Le'olam Bahem Ta'avodu" (in connection with an Eved Cena'ani) - and Rebbi Akiva says 'Chovah'.

(a) In interpreting the Machlokes between Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Akiva, we initially propose - that Rebbi Yishmael considers all Mitzvos Asei, Reshus, whereas Rebbi Akiva considers them obligatory.

(b) We conclude that their Machlokes is confined to these three cases, which are all based on Pesukim. In our Sugya, Rebbi Yishmael learns like Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov, in whose opinion, the Torah needs to permit a man to warn his wife not to go with someone else - to preclude from the La'av of "Lo Sisna es Achicha bi'Levavecha" (which such an act would otherwise contravene).

(c) Rebbi Akiva learns from the additional Pasuk "ve'Avar Alav Ru'ach Kin'ah ve'Kinei es Ishto ve'Hi Lo Nitma'ah" - that it is not only permitted to warn one's wife, but obligatory.

(d) According to Rebbi Yishmael - the Torah writes the extra Pasuk to complement "ve'Hi Lo Nitma'ah" that is written there.

5) The source for this is the principle taught by Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael: 'The Torah will readily repeat a Parshah merely for the sake of an addendum that was not mentioned previously.


(a) According to Rebbi Yishmael, the Torah writes "Lah Yitama", to permit the relatives who would otherwise be included in the Pasuk "le'Nefesh Lo Yitama be'Amav". Rebbi Akiva learns that it is a Mitzvah - from "Lah Yitama" (because, as he points out, we already know Reshus from "Ki-im li'She'eiro").

(b) Rebbi Yishmael learns from "*Lah* Yitama" - that the Kohen is only permitted to bury his relatives when they die, but not limbs of his live relatives that have fallen off (even though a detached limb of a live person is considered like the limb of a dead one as regards Tum'ah).

(c) Assuming that Rebbi Akiva agrees with this D'rashah - he learns the initial D'rashah from the word "Yitama" (which is superfluous).

(d) According to Rebbi Yishmael - the Torah writes "Yitama", because it needed to write "Lah" (as we just explained).




(a) According to Rebbi Yishmael, the Torah writes "le'Olam Bahem Ta'avodu" to counter "Lo Sechayeh Kol Neshamah". Following the second Pasuk which forbids keeping alive any Cena'ani (even as a Cena'ani slave) - the first Pasuk comes to permit the son (or daughter) of a foreigner who bore a son from a Cena'ani woman (in other words, we go after the father and not, the mother, to determine the nationality of a Cena'ani, as we always do with regard to Nochrim).

(b) By Cena'ani - we mean any of the seven nations 'Chiti, Girgashi, Emori, Cena'ani, P'rizi, Chivi and Yevusi'.

(c) When the Torah writes "ve'Gam mi'B'nei ha'Toshavim ha'Garim Imachem Meihem Tiknu" - it is referring to the children of foreigners who bear children from Cena'ani women.

(d) And when the Torah writes there "Asher Holidu be'Artzechem" - it means specifically "those who gave birth in your land (i.e. foreigners)" - to preclude the children of native Cena'anim, whom one is obligated to kill.

(a) Rebbi Akiva learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Meihem Tiknu" - that one is permitted to purchase a slave who is the child of a Cena'ani woman.
2. ... "le'Olam Bahem Ta'avodu" - that having does so, one is obligated to retain him forever as a slave.
(b) We propose that Rebbi Yishmael learns from "le'Olam *Bahem* Ta'avodu" - "Bahem", 've'Lo ba'Acheichem' (forbidding treating a Jewish servant like a Cena'ani slave, by asking him to perform menial tasks that only a slave would normally perform).

(c) Rebbi Akiva however points out that we know this already from the continuation of the Pasuk "u've'Acheichem B'nei Yisrael Lo Sirdeh Bo be'Farech". So Rebbi Yishmael explains like he did in the two previous cases - that the Pasuk writes "le'Olam Bahem Ta'avodu" only to complement "u've'Acheichem B'nei Yisrael Lo Sirdeh Bo be'Farech" (but not for any intrinsic Chidush).

(a) Rav Chisda says that anger and adultery in one's home - are as destructive to the home as a worm is to the sesame-seeds in which it is found.

(b) This pertains exclusively to women - because when a wife occupies herself with adultery, her home is neglected (the reason for anger is unclear).

(c) Rav Chisda correlates the Pesukim "Ki Hashem Elokecha Mis'halech be'Kerev Machanecha" and that of "ve'Lo Yir'eh Becha Ervas Davar ve'Shav me'Acharecha" - by establishing the former, before adultery became rampant (when Hashem was found in every home), and the latter, after it spread (because, as this Pasuk warns, immoral conduct drives the Shechinah away).

(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan says that when someone performs ...
1. ... a Mitzvah in this world - it marches before him to Olam ha'Ba.
2. ... a sin in this world - it envelopes him and goes before him to Olam ha'Ba.
(b) Rebbi Elazar goes even further. He learns from the Pasuk "ve'Lo Shama Eilehah Lishkav Etzlah, Lihyos Imah" - that it attaches itself to him like a dog (see Agados Maharsha).
(a) We learned earlier that Tum'ah requires only one witness to forbid a Sotah on her husband. The Tana in Perek Mi she'Kinei tries to learn from S'tirah to the contrary from a 'Kal va'Chomer' - because if S'tirah (which will not necessarily forbid her forever, but only until she drinks the Mei Sotah, and is proved innocent) requires two witnesses, the Tum'ah itself, which does forbid her forever, should certainly require two witnesses.

(b) We should now make a 'Kal va'Chomer' in reverse - 'If one witness will suffice for the Tum'ah (even though she will be forbidden forever), then it should certainly suffice for S'tirah, (where she will only be forbidden temporarily).

(c) The Tana cites the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Davar" "Davar" from money-matters, to override the 'Kal va'Chomer', but we reject this D'rashah. That 'Gezeirah-Shavah' will not suffice to override the 'Kal va'Chomer' - because, due to the strong evidence that she did commit adultery, we would have thought that one witness will suffice in this case.

(d) In fact, we learn that S'tirah nevertheless requires two witnesses and not just one - from "ve'Eid Ein Bah", 'Bah ve'Lo be'Kinuy', "Bah ve'Lo bi'S'tirah" (as we learned above).

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